Monday, August 07, 2006

Antiwar Demonstrations

The news blackout on anti-war demonstrations in Tel Aviv continues. This weekend approximately 3,000 people gathered for the one-hour demonstration - double the numbers the police originally permitted. The march went from King George Street to Allenby Street, but then left the agreed route to continue toward the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall. At one point dozens of anarchists supported by other left-wing activists blocked traffic by walking in the road. There were some scuffles when police arrested two demonstrators. Although the demonstrations have been taking place for nearly 6 weeks this is the first time that the police have intervened and arrested protestors.

The challenge that protestors now face is how to turn substantial latent opposition to the war into effective and active opposition. According to Bloomberg polls conducted for the newspaper Yediot Ahronot show that backing for the war in Lebanon was down from 78% on July 18 to 71% on July 28.